Smart glasses haven’t caught on the way smart phones or smart speakers have.
But in the right situation, high-tech eyewear can be pretty handy, like a new set of glasses powered by artificial intelligence that can transcribe speech in real time and create captions for people who need them.
It’s called TranscribeGlass, and it’s the work of a startup out of Stanford University.
One of the company’s co-founders, Madhav Lavakare, started developing prototypes after he saw a Deaf friend struggle in school and eventually drop out.
He figured there had to be a way to make spoken communication more accessible for Deaf people in situations where there wasn’t an interpreter or another accessibility option on hand.
Lavakare eventually teamed up with Tom Pritsky, who’s had bilateral hearing loss since age three.
He can read lips and uses hearing aids, both of which are helpful.
But he says he’s watched movies with the captions on and wondered, why couldn’t we just have this for real life?
TranscribeGlass is essentially a speech to text converter that displays captions on a pair of glasses through a mini projector.
It works in real time, and can even be effective in places with a lot of background noise where hearing aids might not be as useful.
And it’s cost-effective: the beta version has sold for $55, and the plan is to sell the full version for $95.
That’s not nothing, but for many Deaf or hard of hearing users, it could be an affordable way to make the world more accessible.
The website Paleofuture looks at how the past thought the future might play out.
And here’s one prediction that didn’t come true: in August 1930, an architect told Modern Mechanix magazine that banks could foil robbers if everything was made of transparent glass.
Because then everyone could see everything!
Of course, on the other hand, the robbers could see everything too…
Glass Banks Were the Future of Security in 1931 (Paleofuture)
Image from TranscribeGlass via YouTube